GAO Finds Substantial Variation in Prices Paid By Hospitals for Implanted Devices

February 8, 2012 | Risk Management News

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Expenditures for hospital procedures involving implantable medical devices increased from $16.1 billion to $19.8 billion from 2004 through 2009, states a January 13, 2012, report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Because policymakers are concerned that a lack of price transparency inhibits competition in the device market and leads to higher costs for hospitals and ultimately higher Medicare spending, GAO conducted a study to compare the prices paid by hospitals for certain cardiac and orthopedic devices. According to the study’s results, data from 31 hospitals indicated substantial variation in reported prices for cardiac devices.

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